The Other Art Fair Melbourne 2019

The Other Art Fair returns to Melbourne for it’s biggest edition yet

The Other Art Fair Australia is all grown up.

Words: Nell Cohen

After a record-breaking edition in Sydney in March, The Other Art Fair returns to The Facility in Melbourne for its biggest edition yet. The the  international artist-led fair offers art buyers and collectors the opportunity to purchase work directly from a whopping 120 hand-picked artists.

Art Collector spoke to fair director Zoe Paulsen ahead of the Melbourne iteration about what collectors can expect from a visit.

What does the Other Art Fair do differently to other fairs?

The Other Art Fair puts the artist front and centre. It’s our point of difference and it’s what sets us apart from other gallery driven art fairs. I believe this is hugely rewarding for the artists and general public alike. Our artists are able to build meaningful, long lasting relationships with potential buyers, and our visitors walk away with a meaningful experience, being able to meet and engage directly with the creators themselves.

How has the Other Art Fair grown since the first Australian iteration?

We hosted the first fair in Sydney in 2015 on Lv 3 of Central Park in Chippendale! It was a smaller fair with only 80 artists. We ran alongside Sydney Contemporary in September and we were overwhelmed with the amount of visitors we welcomed through the doors. We actually had to turn the escalators off because we couldn’t get people in quickly enough! It was then that we realized people were hungry for an event like this – accessible to everyone on any budget.

How would you describe the impact TOAF has had on emerging and unrepresented artists?

The impact has been a hugely positive one for the emerging arts scene – we’re providing an accessible platform for artists to connect directly with buyers that are outside of the gallery space or the online world. We’re incredibly motivated by the encouraging feedback we get from our exhibiting artists and with the amount of artists we have reapplying to each edition of the fair, it’s testament to the fact that we’re doing something right!

How does the Other Art Fair attract collectors in Australia and New Zealand?

Every artist showing at The Other Art Fair has been selected to exhibit via a selection committee of art world experts. This allows us to maintain a high standard of work at each fair and it also means that buyers can purchase with confidence. We also cater to all budgets, with artwork ranging from as little as $100 – which appeals to those who have never purchased an artwork before, to $10,000 for those looking to invest in a rising art star.

What can collectors expect from the Melbourne fair this year?

Collectors can expect to see a wide variety of mediums on show at the fair this year – from ceramicists to sculptors, painters to printmakers – there is really something for everyone. We have artists that have never exhibited before which makes this a wonderful place for discovery. Outside of the 120 artists that will be exhibiting at the fair, we have a packed public program that celebrates the ‘Other’ – from live tattooing, to glass blowing, to interactive installations – there is so much to discover this year and we’re all incredibly excited to welcome an enthusiastic audience to the event.

What artists are you particularly excited about seeing this time?

I’m very excited to welcome Paul Yore as our Guest Artist for our Upcycle initiative this year. Upcycle is part of our Greener Futures program – an opportunity to talk about sustainability and the environment. Paul will be at the Opening Night of the fair upcycling old and unloved artworks.

I’m looking forward to seeing Jon Setter’s work in the flesh – Jon is a photographer who was born in Detroit, Michigan, and is currently based in Sydney, Australia. He received a B.A. from the College for Creative Studies in Media Arts and is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts from the National Art School. His photography primarily focuses on urban spaces and architecture. Jon wanders through cities looking to document a perspective that is normally not visualized.

I’m also looking forward to welcoming Runa Kuru Kristjonsdottir & Catherine Holly Tong (aka Runa and Holly) – an artist duo based in New Zealand. They are inspired by the floral paintings of the Dutch greats during the 15th and 16th century and their photographs are moody and very evocative.

How can collectors get on the VIP list?

Anyone who want’s to be added to our invitation list can send us an email. VIP’s are invited to the Fair 1 hour before the general public to view and purchase artwork. They are also treated to a limited edition tote bag and free drinks during that hour.

The Other Art Fair Melbourne is on show at The Facility, Kensington, from 2–5 May 2019. Another fair is slated for Sydney this October.

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